05/26/2012 11:12AM

Finger Lakes: Haya’s Boy on the rise for Barker Handicap


Haya’s Boy, who began the year running for a $7,500 claiming tag against nonwinners of two lifetime but has improved enough to most recently finish second against open company in a first-level allowance at Aqueduct, may be the horse to beat in Monday’s first stakes of the season at Finger Lakes, the $50,000 George Barker Handicap.

The six-furlong Barker, restricted to New York-breds, attracted a field of 10 older sprinters, including Pro’s Pal and Too Tough Pete, who finished second and third when the stakes was last contested in 2010. It’s Finger Lakes newcomer Haya’s Boy, however, who looks the most dangerous.

Claimed out of a winning effort for $7,500 on Jan. 2 by trainer Jeremiah Englehart, the 4-year-old Haya’s Boy has proceeded to post 2 wins, a second, and a third in 4 starts for his new owners, the partnership of Eugene Hauman, Ernest Dahlman, and James Voight. The career-best 89 Beyer Speed Figure that Haya’s Boy earned for his runner-up effort April 14 at Aqueduct in a first-level allowance is the best recent number in Monday’s field.

The 7-year-old Too Tough Pete came close to matching the performance by Haya’s Boy when he snapped a 16-race losing streak by winning his 2012 debut going 4 1/2 furlongs April 21 and got an 87 Beyer. He is back in against statebreds after six consecutive starts against open company.

Pro’s Pal, who was second by a neck and a length ahead of Too Tough Pete in the 2010 Barker, was third in the same prep as Too Tough Pete. A 14-time winner at Finger Lakes, the 7-year-old Pro’s Pal flashed high speed and weakened while making his first start since December. He shows two fast five-furlong workouts since May 16 and is a candidate to improve making the second start of his form cycle for high-percentage trainer Charlton Baker.

Dahlgren Chapel, second behind Too Tough Pete last month, makes his second start off the claim for trainer John Tebbutt. As a 2-year-old in 2009, Dahlgren Chapel was second behind Ibboyee in both the New York Breeders’ Futurity and the Aspirant.